Posted by sibelhodge on Monday, March 7, 2011 Under: Author Interviews
Today I'd like to welcome the lovely Tania Tirraoro to my blog...
Tania was born in Wales and raised in the North West of England but now resides in leafy Surrey with her husband and two sons. She spent a decade working as a broadcast journalist and newsreader which has been the inspiration for This Last Summer.
Tania has a blog, notasadvertised.blogspot.com and a website helping parents with special needs education, www.specialneedsjungle.co.uk. Both Tania's sons have Asperger Syndrome and so the Asperger's character of Ben in This Last Summer is written from the heart.
Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
This Last Summer was started in 2007 after I lost my mother to cancer. It was quite cathartic as it helped me explore some of the issues of my complicated relationship with her through the eyes of the journalist protagonist. I used a lot of personal experiences—including some of the more bizarre stories I was sent on as a TV reporter.
What is your latest novel?
My new book is a romance, Sweet Seduction, written for the Mills and Boon market. It has a traditional hero and heroine and the prerequisite happy ending. I think it's quite a satisfying book and took just four months to write.
What inspired you to write the book?
I wanted to see if I could write a romance and was surprised to see how quickly it came together.
What’s your favourite part of writing a novel?
I love it when I have 'flow'—when the words are just pouring out of me as fast as I can type.
Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
Some days I can't even bear to open up the file and make a start. I faff about instead. I also find detailed descriptions don’t come first time around – they have to be added in when I go back to it. I think this comes from being a broadcast journalist – brevity is king.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The ideas come to me as I lie in bed between sleep and being awake.
How long does it take to complete a novel?
This Last Summer took just under a year with a break of a few months in the middle during the school holidays. Sweet Seduction, as I mentioned, was very fast but then it's shorter, at 50,000 words.
Did you query agents or traditional publishers before self-publishing?
Yes but TLS falls between genres though Amazon are now classing it as literary fiction! With Sweet Seduction, I virtually went straight to kindle. Why wait?
How did you handle the rejection letters?
What’s your writing process?
I do my research as I need it through the writing. I like things to be logical and to make sense. I hate loose ends. Then I just sit down and let my fingers work. About half way through, I write a scene list with major events to keep things in order –this helps me see where I'm up to.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
My friend Mel Comley, did it first and she encouraged me, after we'd both been on authonomy. It was quite nerve wracking.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t just talk about it, write. And being able to spell is always handy.
What's next in the pipeline?
I'm writing a new Maddie Chambers (This Last Summer).
Do you think your books would translate well to the big screen? If so who would you like to see play your lead characters ?
I've no idea.
Tell me three random things about yourself.
I work in PR. I have a wonderful husband and two lovely sons—both boys have Asperger's Syndrome. We have a mad Labradoodle called Leo.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work in PR for several companies.
Do you use Social Media for marketing your novels?
Yes, I use Facebook, Twitter and I have a blog, http://notasadvertised.com and a website http://www.tirraoro.com
Who are your writing influences?
Carol Shields, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts
Describe your novel in fifteen words or fewer.
Livia doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure but millionaire financier Rufus is almost irresistible…
What are you reading at the moment?
J D Robb's latest, Treachery in Death
Do your characters talk to you?
No, they talk through me. They just blurt stuff out.
Have you ever used a friend or foe as a character?
Oh yes. Heavily disguised but the feelings of animosity persist.
About This Last Summer
Who said working in TV was glamorous? It’s shocking - and it can break your heart
It's not easy keeping an office romance secret in a newsroom full of the treacherous and the lecherous and local TV reporter Maddie Chamber's life is about to get even more complicated.
Maddie faces tough decisions both personally and professionally in a journey full of emotion that you won't want to put down.
While out filming she stumbles across a family bombshell - her long lost mother, whose reappearance is set to wreak havoc on her father and brilliant but autistic brother. Then there's an even more shocking discovery that threatens to pull the family apart.
This Last Summer is available from:
Amazon US http://tinyurl.com/47h5zv2
Amazon UK http://tinyurl.com/4cmqvnu
Many thanks for your time, Tania. Janet Evanovich is one of my major influences, too!
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